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Greek school book: “Parthenon Marbles were transported to Britain” (lol)

LOL. Education Ministry needed almost a decade to realize that a school book was making wrongest reference to the Parthenon Marbles, an issue that is most dear to Greece that tries to get back the stolen Marbles from Great Britain and the British Museum.

The art history book has been published already in 2003 and notes about the Parthenon marbles:

“The treasures were transported to Britain.”

Not a single word about been taken illegally or “stolen” as the common Greek would say.

Nevertheless, the issue of the “transported” Parthenon Marbles was raised by SYRIZA MP Tasos Kourakis.

“It is unthinkable that students are being taught that the Parthenon Marbles were ‘transported’. They were violently extracted from their monument,” Kourakis said.

The “shocked” Education Minister Andreas Loverdos responded immediately saying that the book with the “monstrous reference” would no longer be used at schools as of next year, while teachers across the country had received instructions on how to correctly present the subject.

PS I suppose the “transport” of the Parthenon Marbles was in the context of the much praised “political correctness” with our neighbors and partners under PASOK Simitis government with George Papandreou as Foreign Minister. Oh, and Loverdos as deputy FM.

 

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3 comments

  1. Let me start by stating that I think the Parthenon Marbles should come back to Greece, especially since there is now a modern museum in Athens that is more than capable of caring for them. That said, there is way too much emotion wrapped up in the issue of the marbles, especially for the Greeks. I can well appreciate the sense of injustice felt in Greece that these Greek treasures remain in Britain, but insisting that they were “stolen” doesn’t help.

    It’s essential to realise that at the time the marbles were removed the world was a very different place and Britain at that time believed that only she knew how to care for the world’s antiquities properly. Times have changed of course, which is why I think the marbles should come back, but I really believe that Greece would improve her argument if she were to remove the emotion attached to the marbles. Nobody likes to be told they are (or were) a thief, doing so doesn’t encourage them to look kindly on a request for the return of the marbles.

    It’s also important to try to see the views of the other party. I am quite sure that Britain is concerned that returning the Parthenon Marbles would be “the thin edge of the wedge” and that other countries would then seek the return of other treasures held in British (and other country’s) museums. That is not necessarily a good thing, Greece is now able to properly care for the Parthenon Marbles, but many other countries may not be able to properly care for their antiquities yet.

    It is very easy to create a conflict situation, doing so often makes us feel better about ourselves. I’m sure that insisting that the marbles were stolen and must therefore be returned makes the Greek people feel better about the situation, but conflict rarely results in a satisfactory solution for either side. Cooperation and compromise generally bring about more and better results, though they rarely satisfy the need for retribution and justice.

    I honestly think the Greek cause would be improved by dropping the emotion caused by insisting that the marbles were “stolen”, because it really matters not how Britain obtained them now. All that matters is getting them back. By cooperating with Britain and seeking a middle ground, that perhaps starts with a long-term loan of the marbles from the British Museum to Athens, more progress would be made.

    You catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar…….

    • I realized that a lot of British people took offend on this issue as they take the matter personally. I copy paste what I wrote in FB:
      “Elgin’s personal act became “British” the moment a state institution accepted the Marbles, I’d dare say. Nevertheless, we should not take such things personally or get offended. It’s in terms of “generally speaking” and “language economics”. Remember the slogan “all Greeks are corrupt and lazy” ? Unfortunately it is easy to hurt the pride of a whole nation, but this is how it is”

      • I don’t think it’s about taking things personally. What concerns me is that both countries have adopted entrenched positions; Greece maintains they were stolen and Britain maintains they were obtained legally. Shouting ever louder that one view is the only right ones does not help to bring the marbles home. As a Briton I am sure that, in time, a more conciliatory and pragmatic approach by Greece might meet with more success. Maintaining the existing entrenched positions will not.